Investigate several examples of animal migration, including migration by monarch butterflies, pronghorns, and animals of the Florida Wildlife Corridor.
5 - 8
Biology, Ecology, Geography, Physical Geography
Photograph by Alex Edelman / ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo
Many animals journey great distances, or migrate, as part of their life. They do this for various reasons, including to mate and find food. Use this idea set to learn about several migratory species, including monarch butterflies and the challenges faced by these insects. Additionally, introduce students to pronghorn migration through the camera lens of photographer Joe Riis to understand how the Geo-Inquiry Process was used to learn the importance of migration bridges. Lastly, visit the Florida Wildlife Corridor through a conservation photographer’s experience to learn how corridors can facilitate wildlife movement across large areas.
Explore the use of wildlife corridors using Florida as a model. Students can start by using the street and satellite views on Google Maps to predict which areas across Florida are likely natural habitat and home to a variety of wildlife. Students can base their predictions on the land cover or the locations of identified protected areas. Emphasize the unconnected nature of these areas by, for example, pointing out the distance between the Ocala National Forest and Goethe State Forest. Ask students to speculate why having unconnected natural habitat might cause issues for wildlife. Then have students propose paths, or corridors, that could help facilitate wildlife movement between the areas they identified earlier. Students can compare their proposals to the proposed Florida Wildlife Corridor depicted on these maps.
Describe the Florida Wildlife Corridor as a proposed network of connected land and water stretching across the state that is designed to support native wildlife. Students can watch this video of National Geographic Grantee Carlton Ward Jr., who founded the Corridor project, to learn more. As a class, discuss how Ward Jr.’s work as a conservation photographer might be helpful to successfully implementing the Florida Wildlife Corridor.
To conclude, share this article about the creation of a wildlife corridor in Brazil. Students can use both projects as examples as they evaluate the advantages and difficulties of implementing wildlife corridors.
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October 19, 2023
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